FAO mums of breastfed lo's *UPDATE*

How many breastfed little ones are sleeping through?
If yours are, how did you drop the feeds?
Ruby is 6 months next week and is now on 3 big meals a day plus about 3-4 breastfeeds in the day but is still feeding after her 7.30pm feed at bedtime at 11pm, 3am and then 6/7am.
Please help!
I KNOW she does not need it and it is purely for comfort.
Do I just let her cry it out and ignore her till morning?

Has anyone else done this and it worked or do you have any suggestions?



Well, last night she cried at 10.30pm. I didn't think she was hungry but fed her at 11pm to make sure.
She went back down and started crying after 2 minutes and wouldn't stop! Hubbie said 'for goodness sake bring her in with us for a bit' (she slept in our bed till she was 6 weeks old).
The next thing I know. hubbies alarm is going off and it's 7am! She slept through!
This shows that a) she does not need a feed during the night and b) she is crying for attention.
So, tonight, I will give her the 11pm feed and then leave her.
it's gonna be tough but i think I've got to, don't you?


[Modified by: *Mrs E* on 26 January 2009 13:58:22 ]


  • Riley is 6 and a half months and is doing the same. He was much more frequent but over the last week i've been stricter on settling him until the times you said in your post. Or if he goes to bed at 6pm I move it to 10pm, 2am, and 6am. Will your LO take a bottle of water as Niki says? Riley won't let a bottle anywhere near him, but i'm still trying every day hoping he might give in. xxx
  • No Rebecca, Ruby won't take a bottle either so it's not an option!
    She can now drink water from a cup but makes a mess and so cannot do it in the middle of the night!
    For that reason alone, I am unable to express and go out anywhere for more than four hours as there is no other way of giving her milk!
    I have no clue how I am going to move her onto formula when she needs it.
    I am going into hospital soon and have no clue how she's going to be fed!
  • Aw hun, am really sypmathising with you now! It's such a nightmare isnt it. The hv recommended a doidy cup for us as well but like you say, the middle of the night it would be impossible! My mum is always saying don't give in and breastfeed if you're offering the bottle, but havent had the heart to go for a complete ban yet, as traumatising him wasnt the way I wanted to stop feeding him. Very tricky isnt it, hopefully someone will have a magic solution for us. xxx
  • Hey hun!

    I know my baby is bottle fed - well if he takes it that is!

    But have you tried topping her up during the day? giving her extra BF .. or adding cheese, milk to her food? just thinking if she had those maybe it would be she was 'topped up' then YOU know she doesn't need the extra - so can just re-settle rather than feed? or maybe reduce the amount of feed time at night? I don't know if that works for BFing? but with bottles you can reduce the amount of milk in the bottle over a week say .. so you could time it maybe cutting a min off her time each night?

    or maybe just offer her water at night! I know it might be messy for a week - but if it gets her sleeping thru because she thinks there is no point waking up for water - it might be worth a shot?

    dont know if its helpfull or not just thought i'd say! x
  • oh forgot to add - what about a dream feed before You go to bed? x
  • My experience is dreamfeeds dont work as well with breastfed babies! Because a nipple is softer than a teat you cant really shove it in their mounths while they are sleeping nd make them feed! Maybe that was just Lucas! Lol!

    Lucas slept through quite early being ebf. Before that he would sleep til 3 then wake every 2 hours after. I finally got fed up with this and gave him water when he woke up and he soon slept through (after 2 nights of him being very annoyed)! Never looked back since then and I would do it all the same next time. If you think your LO is getting enough during the day (which it sounds like it) then don't feed them when they wake up! It's hard and you have to stick to it and show no mercy but its worth it and does no harm lol! Makes me sound hard but I'm a big softy really.
  • Thanks for that it_must_be_love, i have given her a dreamfeed in the past but lately she wakes up BEFORE the time! I have resorted to waiting till she wakes for that one which is anywhere between 10pm-11.30pm and I don't mind doing that one (I actually secretly don't mind doing any of them as I cherish the breastfeeding as I know it won't be for much longer - 6 months at the most I guess before she doesn't need that anymore) but would just like her to start having a good restful nights sleep.
    I have tried giving her more in the day but she definitely does not want it. That is the thing with breastfeeding, you never know how much they have had or will want. I tend to feed her four hourly and any less that that and she strains away or worse, bites my nipple!!
    She definitely doesn't need extra anyway, if you saw the amount of food she was having at her meals! In fact tonight after her 7.30pm feed, she was sick, simply because she was soo full up after her dinner at 6pm but took the breastfeed anyway!!
    Reducing feed time wont work either as she has always been such a profficient feeder, never more than 10 minutes at any one time even as a tiny baby (perhaps 15-20minutes in the first few weeks). now that is down to about 5 minutes, even when she has a full feed!
    I do know that she doesn't need it, its just having the guts to let her cry it out when i have always fed her when she asks before you know?
    She is going in her room on her 6 month birthday next week and I am hoping that will help as she won't wake at every little sound (OH snoring, us turning in bed etc....) which I know she does now.
    Thank you so much for you suggestions though.
    I may well try the water if this goes on for much longer.
  • Thanks Nicx. Yes dreamfeeding is hard and I find it tends to just wake her up sooner than if i didn't!
    If she would take a bottle I would gladly try the water......
    I'm gonna put another post on for ideas about taking a bottle...
  • a dreamfeed wrked really well with grace and shes breastfed but all babies r different! grace started sleeping thru at 9 weeks but we gave a dream feed until she was 6 mths.Sorry i cnt offer u much advise as grace has dropped all her feeds herself but sounds as though ur lo is in the habit of waking and being given a feed in the night.Does she have a dummy at all?if not i think controlled crying is the only way unless u just keep feeding at those times! xxx
  • i did cc with oliver at 7m as he was the same, waking every 2 hrs for a comfort feed to get him back to sleep every night, its hard to do but he slept 8-7 ish after 2/3 nights of cc
    evie is the best, slept through from day 2 and still letting me sleep.yippie!
    do u give lo supper? i found giving oliver some porridge for supper got him sleeping a little longer before waking. xx
  • I had this problem with my first but eventually cracked it at 7 months by giving a bf just before I went to bed at about 11.30 so I knew he wasnt hungry (always took it even if a dreamfeed) then when he woke in the night my husband went in to settle him down, so he knew he wasnt going to get fed. Took about 3 nights before he got the idea that oh would soothe him, but I wouldnt go in and he wouldnt be fed again. Then I would give morning feed at about 7am in bed.
    It is tough not giving in to them, but if your oh is supportive I would definitely suggest trying him being the one to go in during the night for a few days, and see if it works for you!
    Good luck xxx
  • didnt want to r&r but i dont have much advice as Evie's coming up 12weeks and has one or two feeds during the night, have you tried a dreamfeed? i can't do them with Evie as she is such a light sleeper but other people on here do them and work really well xxxx
  • I have to say - as you know - that at 6 months your lo does not need to be feeding in the night at all and is doing this just out of habit or for comfort! At 6 months my lo was still having one night feed and I was shattered and decided enough was enough and when he woke I just settled him back to sleep without a feed. it took a couple of nights (but he wasn't massivelydistressed) and then he stopped waking for it. Maybe when you move rooms you just have to break the pattern and stop the feeds. You will have to do it at some point and yes it is hard but it is so worth it! So I reckon GO FOR IT and be strong! image
  • My lo is 4 months and breastfed. We give him a feed at 11 (although not a dreamfeed - the book i read said to wake them up properly so they are aware they are having it and they take a full feed and don't fall asleep and not take enough). I read Gina Fords complete sleep guide to see if she had anything interesting to say lol, because my lo started waking for food at 5am and i know he doesn't need it because he's slept until 8am before. i got into the habit of giving him food then, and he dropped a daytime feed as a result. Then he started getting hungrier at night because he wasn't eating properly during the day. Vicious circle.

    When he woke for food at 5am we left him to cry and he just went back to sleep. Cried on and off until 7.30 when we got him up, but we just didn't feed him, and to be fair he wasnt very distressed, just protesting! He then took an extra feed in the day as a result, and the next night we did the same, he grumbled again but for less time. We've carried on doing this, and he still wakes for a bit of a grumble about 6am, but he usually goes back to sleep until we get him up. The method says that if you absolutely can't settle them back off to offer water (we've not had to do this yet...), and even if you have to stay up with them comforting them until morning when you feed them, don't feed them because you have to break the cycle and the association that waking at night means food, because it's only a habit, and all habits need breaking sooner or later. Gradually she should learn that it's not worth waking.

    Sorry to ramble, hope it's some help. x
  • Just saw your update - at least you can rest your mind knowing it's not food she's after at night, but it will be tough just leaving her. Still she might suprise you like my lo did, and learn quickly that noone's coming, so she might as well sleep! x
  • Thanks JamDonut.
  • freya is 10 months bf and still not sleeping through. she is teething really badly at the moment to so is even worse than usual. she goes down in her cot but wakes as soon as we go to bed, but some times she sleeps through if we put her in our bed. after her teeth have come thrugh im going to put her in with her sister then she will hopefully sleep longer in her bed as we wont be comming in and waking her up, but wont be able to leave her to cry as it will wake phoebe up, so if she wakes it will be into our bed again. its a lovely big rod that i am making for my own back, lol. xx
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